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Mayor Bloomberg Visits Goldman Employees After Smith Op-Ed

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March 15 (Bloomberg) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s headquarters in Manhattan in a show of support after a departing employee publicly criticized the firm’s culture yesterday.

“The mayor stopped by to make clear that the company is a vital part of the city’s economy, and the kind of unfair attacks that we’re seeing can eventually hurt all New Yorkers,” said Stu Loeser, a spokesman for the mayor.

Bloomberg visited the firm today about 11 a.m. and met with Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein and numerous employees, Loeser said.

Greg Smith, an executive director who sold U.S. equity derivatives to clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, wrote in a New York Times opinion piece that he is leaving the firm after 12 years. Smith assailed the company’s treatment of clients and blamed Blankfein and President Gary D. Cohn for losing hold over the bank’s culture.

They responded in a memo to current and former employees, saying that Smith’s assertions don’t reflect the company’s values, culture or “how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.” David Wells, a bank spokesman, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment after business hours.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Moore in New York at mmoore55@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

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